Public opinion may finally be moving sharply against President Barack Obama, according to a new Fox News poll. According to the poll, 66% of Americans believe that the IRS “targeted conservative groups as part of a high-level operation to punish political opponents.” At the same time, just 23 percent believe the IRS and administration version of events, which is that the abuse was all driven by low-level employees who had gone “rogue.”
Even Democrats tend to believe that the IRS abuse was deliberate and political.
The new poll, released Wednesday, finds 24 percent think the administration had “absolutely nothing” to do with what the IRS did. The same number felt that way last month.
In May the IRS acknowledged it had targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups for special attention when the groups sought tax-exempt status.
Just 11 percent of those who identify with the Tea Party movement believe the White House had nothing to do with it.
More than three-quarters of voters (78 percent) want Congress to continue to investigate the IRS. That’s a bit higher than the number that thinks Congress should continue to investigate the Justice Department seizing journalists’ records (76 percent) and the Obama administration handling of the attacks in Benghazi (73 percent).
The “rogue employee” defense never made any sense. Unionized workers are not known for taking on work that has not come to them from higher authorities both within in their union as well as within their agencies. The additional questioning and paperwork that the IRS workers engaged in while targeting groups opposed to the Obama agenda constituted a great deal of additional workload. The union had to buy into that before it could ever have been launched. Someone had to draft and approve of the additional questioning. The questioning had to be worked into the IRS’ case system. “Rogue” employees lack the power do accomplish all this. Maybe coincidentally, maybe not, President Obama met with Colleen Kelly, head of the IRS workers union, one day before the targeting began. They met in the White House on March 31, 2010, and the targeting began on April 1. Neither the White House nor the union have ever come forward to explain what that meeting was about.
Some Democrats including Rep. Elijah Cummings (MD) have declared that there’s nothing more to see in the IRS scandal and that America should just move on. The majority of Americans, including the majority of Democrats, disagree.
Continuing the investigation into the IRS scandal has widespread support: Almost all Republicans (90 percent), as well as sizable majorities of independents (76 percent) and Democrats (69 percent) agree lawmakers should persist until they feel they know the truth.